Missing Thermometers and Idling Expeditions

5:28am, Thursday.  The alarm shrieks and I lie still in protest, mentally reviewing the tasks ahead.  Suddenly I think of the video camera lying dormant in the closet and all of the baby milestones that have gone unrecorded anywhere but in my heart.  I think of the footage not taken: first meals, rolling over, crawling, standing, walking.  I think of Christmas and Easter mornings, birthday parties and Halloweens.  And now my babies are no longer babies; my chance to chronicle their lives on film is gone.  Propelled by guilt and piercing regret, I lurch out of b...more
Wow! I quietly lose my mind every morning get my kids and my husband up, dressed and out the ...more

Sweltering Heat and Stinky Fashionistas

Even at six a.m. the air was damply hot when I opened the door this morning: torpid, dank heat with no assurance of the sweet relief of rain.  The low was in the seventies, promising to climb up to a punishing ninety-nine, the brutal heat reaching its peak just as Almost Teen is forced to run sprints across the crackling parched grass of the athletics field.  A week ago the joint on her pinkie finger swelled hot and red, the legacy of some nasty venomous insect that bit her hand as she did push-ups under the blazing sun....more

Roaches, Pom-Poms, and Imaginary Boyfriends

In fact, I made poor post-middle school Carolyn feel so awful about her snotty treatment of me that she wrote me a letter of apology before I left.  Then it was MY turn to feel guilty; truly, I hadn't meant to lay it on so thick and I honestly didn't hold the actions of her twelve-year-old self against the pizza-eating twenty-year-old she had become.  Hell, when I was twelve, I lied to one of my best friends, Tracy, who had moved away to the town of Beaumont.  Knowing that Tracy would never run into anyone I knew in Palm Springs, I felt free to make up stories about my "boyfr...more

Hairy Legs and Half Shirts

They were behind me in the way to the middle school drop-off this morning.  I just missed the light and had to stop, waiting for it to turn green before I could turn left.  A gleaming SUV waited behind me and I saw the driver's lipsticked mouth drop open in dismay, a nimbus of waving blonde hair floating around her lovely face.  In the passenger seat sat a young girl.  Even the indistinct, shadowy image offered by the rear-view mirror showed her long blonde hair, the spiky blackened eyelashes, the willowy figure sitting upright in her seat....more

The Party: Popular Is As Popular Does

I sit, sweaty and dusty, arms aching from push-ups and tricep dips.  I really did not want to go; after driving sullen, surly Almost-Teen to school this morning (she missed the bus--again) it was nearly nine o'clock and the sun was already burning hotly.  But yesterday involved no cardiac exertion or strength-building activity, unless you count lifting a hefty toddler (not mine) or chasing a venturesome cockroach around the dining room, ready to crush it with a box full of wine openers.  Skipping another day meant no justifying a Nutella-slathered brownie later so on went my ...more